by Charles L. Morton
via The Preceptor, Vol. 28, No. 5, March 1979
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the Will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). Some things are involved in this text that are basic. Your attention is invited to some of them.
The admonition to understand the Will of the Lord implies that the Will of the Lord is available to man. If one does not understand the Will of God it is not because God has not spoken to man, for He has (Hebrews 1:1,2). The Will of God has been revealed to man by the inspired writings of the apostles. Paul wrote: "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (I Thessalonians 2:13). Again, "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (I Corinthians 14:37). The New Testament is, therefore, the full, final and complete revelation of the Will of God to man (II Timothy 3:16,17).
The admonition to understand the Will of the Lord implies the ability of the average person to read, study, and apply the Scriptures for himself. Let it be emphasized that an understanding of the Bible depends entirely upon one's desire to study and apply the Scriptures for himself. The idea that the ability to understand the Bible is the realm of a "seminary" trained "clergy" is a sectarian concept and is wholly foreign to the truth! Of those things revealed through the apostles, Paul wrote, "Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mysteries of Christ" (Ephesians 3:4).
The ability to understand the Will of the Lord is primarily an issue of attitude. Paul wrote, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for that cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).
We continue to plead with all to develop and cultivate the desire to "speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent." By doing so, it will be possible to "do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names."